Saturday, August 30, 2014

Friday, August 29, 2014

New Old Music: Love Note

I'm going through my songwriting catalog and recording definitive versions of all the songs I've written over the years. I plan on releasing a free album of the best of Theme Park Mistress, tentatively entitled Songs Your Mother Taught Us. This is the first song, Love Note. 


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hillsdale Paranormal Society's Guide to Demonic Curses, Pt. 2

Tbh, demons are pretty gross dudes.

So awhile back I wrote part one of a guide to demonic curses as a major favor to all you bros and broettes out there who're having trouble with some queer demon, maybe summoned by that creepy goth guy down the street (looking at you, Gary) who's messing with black magic like a major jabroni, and whose car you keyed because, let's face it, goths can go suck a big ol' wenis. I went through the various types of demons, of which there are many, and now I'm gonna tell you how to get rid of them. Regardless of type, the process for ridding oneself of a demon is pretty much the same. You gotta bring them Good Vibrations in, along with some quality booze and quality bros and quality holy water. So let's get down to business.

1. Give the afflicted person a CD of positive vibe type music. Don't be pawning off your old Limp Bizkit shit on them; demons love the Bizkit, Fred Durst being the sort of asshole that'll probably become a rape demon after he dies. Beach Boys, select Funky Bunch, Journey (with Steve Perry), Burt motherfucking Bacharach--these will work, since demons hate any sense of melody in their tunes, and the aforementioned dudes have the power of God on their side. You don't think God had a hand in writing "Don't Stop Believing?" Shit, son, get your mind in gear and look at the evidence right in front of you. Anyways, have them start playing that music immediately.

2. Get the afflicted fucking shit-faced. In fact, everyone should be shit-faced. Premium stuff, bros and broettes. Now, the cynics out there might be asking "Why the hell do all of your guides involve music and drinking, Gordy?" Well, dumb-asses, that's because the powers of evil hate you having a good time. Shit's like NyQuil to your insomnia. So get everybody drunk, because you're less susceptible to demonic influence when you got your buzz on like Donkey Kong, who was the incorrigible drunk of the Nintendo universe.

3. Build a big-ass bonfire. The perceptive among ya'll might be noticing that I'm basically giving you the recipe for a kick-ass party. Ain't no coincidences, Bob Dylan--demons hate a good time. You need to build yourself a giant bonfire that'll put all those Texas A&M weirdos to shame. Burn down an old barn or something. Make sure to invite that goth kid you think waylaid you with the curse, 'cuz we'll fix that jabroni, yes sir.

The goddamn cat looks embarrassed. Don't embarrass your cats, bros.

4. Begin the transfer of the curse. Get your bros to hold down that goth kid and pour holy water all over the son of a bitch--you got some holy water, right? While he's squirming and threatening to call down the power of Beelzebub, get the afflicted, who should be wasted by now, and have them kiss the goth dude. Yeah, this part's pretty weird, but you gotta smooch that mfer in order to transfer the demon on their ass. Don't kiss them on the mouth, though, 'cuz a lot of these goth types have herpes.

5. Fucking tear ass outta there. The goth dude will probably be spouting all sorts of nonsense about rape and assault, so everybody probably oughta get outta there before the cops show up. It ain't cool to have that shit on your rap sheet; God knows Art and Trent would be working better jobs. But Hillsdale Paranormal Society's gonna do what a paranormal society's gonna do. It's all part of the job, brothas.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Weightlifting: Texas Method Variation


The Texas Method is a popular intermediate program. As written, I think it's a little light on upper body and deadlift intensity, so I thought I'd share a variation I came up with.

This is the original program:

Monday: Volume Day
Squat 90% of 5 rep max for 5 sets of 5.
Bench 90% of 5 rep max for 5 sets of 5.
Deadlift 90% of 5 rep max for 1 set of 5.

Wednesday: Recovery Day
Squat for 2 sets of 5 80% of Monday's weight.
Press for 3 sets of 5 90 % of last Monday's weight (Bench and Press are rotated weekly.)
Chins 3 sets to failure.
Other assistance work.

Friday: Intensity Day
Squat one set of 5, max
Bench one set of 5, max
Power clean 5 sets of 3.

Very minimalist and simple. The volume day drives progress on intensity day, since intermediates are starting to have trouble recovering from heavy workouts. The squat work is fine; I've made progress using these percentages, but the upper body lifts (Bench and Press) need heavier percentages, I've found. I also prefer to workout four days a week, so splitting up upper and lower body volume and intensity days helps. It's easier to hit a volume PR in the bench if you're not squatting for five sets beforehand. Without further ado, here's my Texas Method variation (The Nathan Method, hah).

Sunday: Squat Volume Day
Squat 90% of 5 rep max for 5 sets of 5.
Power Cleans for 5 sets of 3. (Volume squats don't seem to affect my cleans; I think I actually clean better after several sets of squats.)
A couple sets of barbell curls (Gotta get them gunz.)

Monday: Upper Body Volume Day
Bench 3 sets of 5 across with heaviest weight you can manage (This is a max for 3 sets. If your bench 5 rep max is 245 lbs, try 235 lbs.)
One or two back off sets with a lighter weight for five reps.
Chins for 4 sets to failure, resting 2 minutes between sets.

Wednesday: Squat Intensity Day
Squat one set of 5 max, or 2 sets of 3,  or 3 sets of 2. Doing lower reps can help when progress stalls.
Do recovery day squats afterward, 2 sets of 5 at 80% of Sunday's weights.
Light Press, five ascending sets of five. (For example, if your 5 rep max in the press is 155 lbs, do 95, 115, 125, 135, and then 145 for five reps. Any heavier is difficult because of the lingering effects of volume day.)

Friday: Upper Body Intensity, Deadlift Day
Bench 3 sets of 3, or 3 sets of 2, or even one set of 3 with 2 sets of 2. Use heavy weight. If benching 235 on Monday, use 250 or 255.
Deadlift one set of five for a five rep max. Back off sets optional. There's no reason not to deadlift heavy. You haven't done that much squatting.

So there you have it. Try this program if you're not improving your upper body lifts on the regular Texas Method.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Tragic Expedition of Commodore Ulysses L. Gruffudd


Read the other entries: Parts one, two, three, and four.

August 21
I have grown very fond of Horatio, and I find myself relying on his inimitable wisdom and youthful strength more and more. If there is a burden, he is the first to bear it, and so when we lose one of our brave companions to a midnight Indian attack, it is Horatio who takes it upon himself to give the man a Christian burial. His eagerness to combat any problem is an inspiration to the men, who I fear would have mutinied long ago if not for his tireless efforts. Every night we have been besieged by an unseen enemy, and we have taken to spending many hours building primitive fortifications of timber to prevent any more loss of life. Arrows seem to materialize out of the darkness, though we seldom see their approach, and in the morning we find one of our number dead, a projectile emerging from his breast. Our party, once approaching twenty in number, is now down to ten, and it is unfortunate that the French Canadians have survived, for they are a never-ending source of superstition and rumor. Soon we must encounter the river once more, and we will rendezvous with Colonel Whittaker, whose party has hopefully fared better than our own.

August 22
After awakening to find one more of our party dead, we decide to confront this enemy once and for all. Instead of moving further toward the river, as we have every day prior, I command the party to build a fortification in the middle of a clearing. We labor long and hard throughout the day, sawing timber and piling the great logs atop each other, and we set aside a large bonfire which we will burn in the center in order to illuminate our surroundings and provide light by which we will finally see and do battle with our enemy. By evening fall we have constructed a six-foot wall with ramparts that surrounds an area of forty square feet. The bonfire burns hot and sends out great embers of heathen fire. We ready our rifles and await the coming storm, righteous in our indignation and eager to confront the demons that plague us. Horatio and I exchange meaningful looks--we both fear that tonight may be our last night on earth. May Heaven help us, and let us prevail against the armies of darkness.

August 23
Late into the night, our enemy decides to show himself. As Horatio suspected, they are savages, clad in the skins of beasts and fowl, rings dangling from their ears and noses, axes and bows in their hands. With a terrible call to their unholy gods, they throw themselves upon us, yet we respond with rifle fire, smiting down the heathens in mass. Their first charge is unsuccessful; the field is littered with the corpses of the dead. The French Canadians howl in triumph, though their celebration is cut short by another wave of Indians. They come in greater number this time, and many are successful in vaulting our fortification. I see Pierre fall with a tomahawk splitting his skull; Horatio valiantly kills the savage with his knife. Soon smoke blinds us, for it seems that the bonfire has spread to our walls, and the heat of hell licks our very souls. Chaos reigns; men flee from the fortification, and the sounds of their dying echo throughout the valley. I look for Horatio, but I cannot find him. All is lost, I decide, so I retrieve my diary and head for the woods, intent on saving my own life. When I reach the brush, however, a monstrous savage appears from behind a tree, his face livid and painted with the colors of the dead. I thrust my rifle at him, trying to knock him off balance, but he deftly sidesteps my efforts, and brings down his own weapon upon my head. I fall into an unconscious state, my only lullaby the terrible music of my men, their voices crying for a salvation that does not come. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Least Interesting Man in the World


Morning, strangers. How's your cup of joe treatin' ya? I know I can't start the day without drinking a pot of coffee. I like it black, no cream or sugar. Don't need none of that funny business. No siree.

Had myself a pizza last night. I ordered it from Papa John's. It was a cheese pizza, medium size. A pizza for one, basically. Kinda depressing when you think about it. Say, who do you think invented the pizza? Was it some Italian fella? Funny how we don't know who invented the pizza, yet we remember Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. Food inventors are the great unsung heroes of history. Now I'm wondering who invented tacos, spaghetti, Chinese food. Hah, got you on that last one. The Chinese invented Chinese food. Or so I believe.

Do you ever find yourself questioning your whole existence? Like, for example, why exactly am I here, at this very place, in this very meat suit? Why am I this good-looking guy instead of that good-looking girl walking down the street? You know, folks, sometimes you ask good questions but you don't get any answers.

My neighbor was weedwacking the sidewalk yesterday. He was very particular about it. He kicked up a whole bunch of dirt and now the grass looks dead and scalped. I thought about going outside and telling him that he was just making it look worse. Sometimes you try too hard and it ends up backfiring on you.

My boss told me that I am walking a thin red line. If I misstep once, I'm gone, fired, laid-off, out on the street like a bum. Also, he apparently finds my good-natured cheer irritating. What kinda thing is that to say to a guy? Would he rather I mope around, sullen and downcast like Larry the office drug addict? I don't even know if I could mope if I tried, and believe me, sometimes I feel like moping. Sometimes I feel like I'm the most depressing human being alive.


I asked Linda from accounting out on a date. She gave me what can best be described as a tentative yes. I'm looking up a movie right now as we speak, trying to find a flick that would appeal to both of us. I look at these movie names and they all seem the same. What restaurant should I take her to? What should I say when we get there? My ex says that I need to cut out the inane conversation. Isn't all of conversing inane? Have you ever really had a good conversation with someone? Sometimes I watch insects interact with each other. One always ends up eating the other. Is God trying to tell us something?

Well, time to have another cup of coffee. Here's to wishing ya'll a nice day. Hopefully it'll be a notable day, unlike all the rest. Hopefully you'll remember something special.

Monday, August 18, 2014

One-Hundred Obituaries, Number Four


Sixteen-year-old Stephen Stegemiller perished beneath two-hundred and five pounds of iron on the last set of five reps. The plates, bar, and bench press station were purchased at a discount from a local sports store specializing in reselling equipment. The clerk was a shifty-eyed fellow, impolite, and somewhat overeager to take young Stephen’s hard earned cash, the fruit of three months’ worth of menial labor. Used barbells were a fairly popular item, and every week or two some teenage kid just like Stephen came through the sliding doors asking for a weight set. These boys shared the same mindset. They desired strength, as well as large pectorals and biceps, and their heads were clouded with images of men with bodies like Greek sculptures, each muscle defined and visible beneath taut skin. Some wanted to make the football team; other wanted to impress girls; a few wanted to beat up a bully. Stephen wanted to get ripped. He was gangly, with sloping shoulders and a hunched back, five feet ten inches tall, a buck forty soaking wet. The reflection in the mirror was a source of dissatisfaction to him. What he saw was not what he wanted to be.
            The Internet had plenty of information for the aspiring bodybuilder, and Stephen soon immersed himself in strength training forums. There were narcissists aplenty, men and boys posting pictures of themselves performing various poses, flexing their lats (bat-wings), traps (yoke), and biceps (guns). There were heated debates on programs and gurus, on styles of squatting, on the benefits of machine training. Protein sources and essential supplements were also discussed ad nauseam. Information was absorbed and stored and filed away in a clutter. There was little left to do but lift weights.
            So Stephen did just that. He ate more, started linear progression, adding five pounds to his bench press every week. Most of his workout were structured around the bench press, the barbell row, and the biceps curl, and though his routine was not ideal, it was exactly the sort of program a teenage boy would construct when left to his own devices. The show muscles received an inordinate amount of attention, and they started to grow.
            Stephen showed off these muscles with tight t-shirts and internet postings. In his mind, he began to believe that he was strong. His legs were skinny, and he had no ass, but he looked good in a sleeveless shirt, and that was what was important to Stephen.
            The set he died on was the fifth set of five. He had already pressed two-hundred and five pounds above him twenty-four times, but halfway up, the bar got out of the groove, so to speak, and all upward force production ceased. Stephen’s ass shot up off the bench; he arched his back and moved his shoulders, and the bar took an even stranger path and descended high on his chest, just above his collar bone. From that position, it began to roll, coming to rest on his throat. Stephen had clamped the weights on with collars, so there was no way for him to dump the plates. The blood flow to his head began to cease, and he experienced a brief wave of pleasure as his eyelids fluttered, and the life passed out of his body. He went to a heaven of shirtless men, all greased in bronzer, their vascularity unrivaled. Jesus himself came down to greet him, pieces of the cross snapping between his Popeye-like forearms. “Dianabol,” said Jesus, taking the young boy by the shoulder. “Tren. Got to watch the dosage.” Jesus pointed at his own massive biceps, mountainous and peaked. Stephen looked around and wondered what other heavens wait, cumulous, scattered on horizons no living being will ever reach. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Apophenia, Chapter Four


Here's the fourth chapter to my current novel in progress. Here are parts one, two, and three.
...

On my walk home from the bus stop, I notice the Conan brothers preparing to deadlift in their front yard. They’ve dragged a wooden platform covered in heavy rubber mats out, and Dave is standing by the bar, psyching himself up with screams and animal noises while Arnold sits in a ratty recliner, cheerfully stuffing his face with what looks to be pieces of raw meat. He sees me watching and waves, pointing toward his bowl of flesh, extending it toward me, and I shake my head and pat my stomach. Arnold smiles, revealing red-tinged teeth, and then jumps up from his chair and rushes into the house. Dave remains oblivious to my presence; his yells have lowered in volume and shortened into grunts, and his hands tremble, covered in white lifter’s chalk. I count the plates and add up the weight and come up with six-hundred pounds even, an impressive total, especially considering that Dave likely weighs just less than two-hundred pounds. Both of the brothers are slightly shorter than average. I’m about to risk disturbing Dave’s intense concentration when Arnold emerges from the house hauling a shoddy La-Z-boy like an insect. He effortlessly tosses the chair in my general direction, and it bounces once before rolling to a stop on its side. For me? I pantomime. Arnold drags his chair over, rights mine, and we sit down to watch Dave.
            “Has he lifted this much before?” I whisper.
            “Last time he passed out,” says Arnold, plopping a slice of raw meat into his mouth, “but he took some pre-workout stuff and huffed some smelling salts, so I think he’ll make it if he takes a big enough breath.”
            “Pre-workout?” I ask. Arnold gives me a carnivorous grin before answering.
            “A homemade cocktail of caffeine, yohimbe, narangin, higenamine, hordenine, synephrine, green tea, various nootropics, and maybe a little bit of coke. I don’t know if I pronounced some of those right,” he admits.
            “You guys treat your bodies like laboratories,” I reply.
            “I think we know what we’re doing,” says Arnold, flexing a massive biceps. “And if we don’t, oh well. There’s all kinds of nasty shit in our water, in our meat, in our vegetables, in the very air we breathe. You can’t keep it out, not with filters or gas masks. You can try,” —he shows me a piece of raw flesh— “but hell, it’s like Star Trek, you know? Resisting is futile. Might as well embrace it. Better living through chemistry.”
            “Dave over there looks like he could charge through a brick wall right now.”
            “He better lift the fucking weight before he loses his pump. Hey asshole! If the bar ain’t bending, you ain’t lifting!”
            “What are you eating, if I may ask?”
            “Raw deer meat. Dave and I killed one in the back yard with a Bowie knife. I jumped out of a tree and tackled it, and Dave took it out.”
            I don’t know what to make of this explanation. Judging from the current scene, and the Conan’s general lunacy, I have no reason to doubt Arnold.
             “Wild animals are riddled with parasites,” I say. “You should cook it.”
            “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” replies Arnold.
            “I think tapeworms are probably bad for gains.”
            “Naw. We’ll save money on fat burners,” he says.
            “What do you guys do for a living?” I ask.
 “We’re entrepreneurs.”
            “How, exactly.”
            “We have a brick laying business. It’s actually pretty brilliant, Leona, being a cynical broad, you’ll appreciate this. We go around knocking on doors, looking for houses with chimneys that are about to fall down. I have Dave sneak around back while I talk up the man of the place, and while we’re discussing his need for a new chimney, lo and behold, the goddamn things falls down right as we’re speaking! Dave, of course, has pushed it down. Dave has pushed down about fifty chimneys in the general area. He’s villain, that Dave. A racketeer.”
            “Yes, I’m sure it was all his idea,” I reply. Dave has finally grasped the bar and begun the pull. The barbell moves slowly upward, nearly stopping around his knees, but Dave, all shaky-legged, gritting his teeth, manages to grind the weight to lockout. He lets out a primal scream, celebrating his triumph over gravity, but then the bar slips out of his fingers and crashes down on the platform, sending him sprawling forward on his face.
            “He’s got pussy hands,” explains his brother. “Tiny little rodent claws.”
            “Goddamn it, I think I chipped a tooth,” says Dave, stumbling to his feet.
            “Yeah, you’re missing a piece of your right front tooth,” I tell him.
            “He looks better, though, don’t he, Leona? I woman might fuck him now.”
            “Why don’t I ever see you working out?” I ask Arnold.
            “He tore his quad,” says Dave, “squatting every day.”
            “I want tree-trunk legs,” responds Arnold. “You don’t get thirty-two inch thighs by sitting on your ass.”
            “You work up to a daily max, you don’t try to squat your max every day,” says Dave.
            “Yeah, I got greedy,” says Arnold. “I’m an idiot, okay? You’re the programming genius. Did you know that, Leona? Dave here is a bonafide genius. He scored over fourteen-fifty on his SATs, only one-hundred and fifty away from a perfect score. Was a state champ in wrestling as well. He can compute numbers in his head. His balls don’t even shrink when he’s on a cycle. The ladies tell me he’s a sexual Jesus. Yet he’s never squatted six-hundred pounds. He’s never deadlifted six-hundred and seventy-five. He’s still benching under four-hundred. So that’s where genius gets you in the world of weight lifting.”
            “You can’t squat three-hundred pounds with a torn quadriceps,” points out Dave.
            “Fuck you, Dave. Seriously, man. GTFO.”
            “I’d like to try deadlifting,” I say. The twins look at me, both of them giving me the same cockeyed stare.
            “Well step up to the platform, Miss Chaney,” says Arnold. “Dave, be a gentleman and take some weight off. Like, almost all of it.”
            “What should I start off at?” I ask.
            “Put one-thirty-five on the bar. If you lift that, I’ll be impressed.”
            “I couldn’t squat that weight,” I say.
            “I bet you can deadlift it. Give the lady a proper tutorial, Dave, you dimwit.”
            “The bar should be over the midfoot,” says Dave, moving my feet for me. “You need to take a closer than shoulder-width stance. Turn your toes slightly out. Keep your legs straight and bend down. Move your grip in, and supinate your dominate hand.”
            “Supinate?” I ask.
            “Ain’t you an English major?” asks Arnold. “He means turn your palm out.”
            I do as he says. Dave instructs me to bend my knees and straighten my back while keeping my hips up.
            “Now pull back,” he says, and I do. The bar slides up my shins and past my knees, and all of a sudden I’m holding one-hundred and thirty-five pounds in my hands.
            “That looked easy,” says Arnold. “She’s got long arms.”
            “I do not,” I say.
            “Long arms are good for deadlifting. You’ve got wide hips and a big ass. You could be a good powerlifter.”
            “Fuck you, Arnold,” I say, lowering the weight.
            “That was pretty rude, man,” says Dave.
            “What? I meant it as a compliment. Leona, you are a beautiful woman. I admire your proportions. Please, do not be offended by my uncouth behavior.” Arnold gets up and bows.
            “I got to get home,” I say.
            “She’s mad at you,” says Dave.
            “That’s how broads are,” says Arnold.
            “Broads don’t like to be called broads,” I say. Arnold shrugs. I’m not really mad at him, but I act like it and leave.
            When I get home, Diesel is sitting on the couch, playing with Mom’s smartphone, making little monkey noises and distorting his face in chimp-like mimicry of human expressions. He’s clad in his underpants, once again. I peek over his shoulder and see that he’s playing a video game, some nonsense featuring explosions and pixilated gore. On his little chest are scratches; he maims himself in his sleep, a persistent habit of his. I tap him on the shoulder but receive no reaction.
            “Shouldn’t you be doing homework?” I ask him. He snarls and flashes his pointed teeth, so I box his ears, and soon he’s kicking at me, lashing out with his naked limbs, trying to grab hold of my arms so that he can bite me like the little beast he is. Mom emerges from the kitchen, the trailer vibrating under her heavy step, and now she’s attempting to pry us apart, her thick arms wedging in-between my brother and me, separating us like an iron gate. I am chastised for harassing Diesel; I point out that he started it with his viciousness, and the monster confirms my accusation by rearing back like a cobra and spitting in my face. A new round of altercation ensues, and I managed to slap Diesel several times before Mom once again forces us away from each other. I storm off into my room, while my brother howls behind me, his utterances long mangled syllables of anguish.
            Lying on my bed, I fish out Chad’s number from my pocket, where it has resided, unlooked at, for a couple days. What’s the prick’s motivation in giving me these digits? Does he possibly think that my hostility toward him is a simple schoolgirl crush? Nausea forms in my stomach at the thought, and I almost pitch the number into my trash can. Chad is unthinking; he is a follower and a pussy, Gibbons’ familiar, his stooge. I imagine a meeting between him and the Conan brothers—Chadwick is thrown in the air, tossed like a sack of refuse from brother to brother, until they tire and fling him through the windshield of a car. Mother is pounding on my door, summoning me for chastisement or reheated spaghetti, neither of which I can digest, I feel, at the moment, so I let her knock away. I hear a car pull up outside and a door slam, and Mother’s rapping at my door ceases. Through the blinds I see Dale walk to our steps, short, pot-bellied, clad in a huge Metallica t-shirt and a pair of torn jeans, his mullet tied back in a pony tail. He’s grown a biker mustache like Hulk Hogan since the last time I saw him, and the facial hair marginally improves his doughy appearance. I hear Mother yell for Diesel to put some pants on; the hooligan emphatically tells her No! at the top of his lungs. “Jesus,” I say to myself, looking for my pair of soundproof headphones and my notebook.
            I listen to ambient music while I write. I like soundscapes, repeating motifs, dense labyrinths of reverb, odd noises, simple melodies. Music has replaced drinking as my primary tool for creative composition, which is fine, really, since I don’t need to be drinking very much. My current project, a short story about the time I brought my first boyfriend home, is going well enough that I think I’ll send it off to a magazine. To be published in print is an ancient goal of mine, even in this era of e-book readers. We all yearn for validation, exposure, consumption. An artist that keeps their manuscript hidden and unread is not an artist, says Gibbons, and I agree with him for once. I have two novels typed out and lying on my bookshelf, nascent efforts, rough, full of errors and bad plotting. From time to time I pull them out and glance through them, trying to decipher whether I’ve grown, regressed, or stayed the same. I wonder if the Conan’s do the same with their workout logs. Of course, progress is easy to recognize in weight lifting. I’m not so sure about writing.
            I hear a shrill wailing like a moose in heat, so I turn up the volume on my music. Dale and mother are getting right down to business, it seems, with Diesel likely locked in his room for his own safety. I can’t leave now if I wanted to—the living room has become a place of sexual deviancy, a horror show complete with food, unmentionable liquids and semi-solids, and odd inanimate objects. Mom is Dale’s booty call, I guess, and we just have to stay out of the way. I don’t begrudge my mother her lovers, though they have been numerous and less than pleasant over the years. She has her needs, as do we all. The trailer rocks with their gyrations, and a moan shudders through the cavernous passages of our mobile home, a great bellowing sound, a pleasure-filled utterance that I have never known the like of during my time on this planet. My mother is a sexual being, despite her bulk. Sometimes I wonder if I have not inherited her capacity for physical satisfaction. My boyfriends, the few and the proud, have never scratched the proverbial itch, though they have tried, much to our mutual displeasure. A man (or a boy) takes it personally when he cannot satisfy a woman—I don’t know if his expectations have been distorted from pornography or what—and every act of copulation brings us further apart, as though I’ve been cursed by some malignant witch. The problem, of course, is that I’m going after the wrong sort of man. I have to have a (seemingly) intelligent and sensitive partner, though I am attracted to brutish, masculine types, and the two being mutually exclusive, it would seem, results in a frustrated, cantankerous girl.
            “Where art thou, oh Tristan?” I say out loud. He was my first, as well as the subject of my current work in progress. I took him through the yard of refuse, through the narrow, clutter-filled hallways, and introduced him to my corpulent mother and my barbarous brother, and alas, he did not pass the test. Chad’s number appears on my notebook, beckoning, telling tales of nondescript punk bands and reefer madness. I think of what fun might be had from the anonymity of my work phone. “Good night, sweet prince,” I say, touching the paper, “may flights of angels sing thee to rest.” I dream dreams of violence and absolution, fleeting dances of knuckles, broken teeth, and blood.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Esteemed Critic on Nerd Words, Bulletstorm

This is how I feel every time I encounter incorrect usage of the word factoid.

I would like to preface this column with a disclaimer: I am not a grammar snob. I believe that language is a living, breathing organism that is constantly being remade by people rather than stuffy professors clinging to outdated notions of their own relevancy. That being said, there are a few words that I can't help cringing every time I see them typed by some clueless denizen of the internet (of which, there are legion). Let's start things off with a frequent offender: the word "grok."

According to Dictionary.com, "grok" is a word coined by renowned science fiction author Robert Heinlein in his novel Stranger in a Strange Land. It means "to understand empathically," and it apparently came into use in the 1960's and is now obsolete except in "internet technology circles." I see this word pop up all the time on forums as a replacement for "understand" or "comprehend," and I assure you all, I do not spend time on the net in "internet technology circles." This is a terrible word, folks; it sounds like the name of a thirteen-year-old's gruff sci-fi protagonist, or perhaps an alien word for excrement. There is no reason to use grok in common conversation, for most people will not know what you're talking about, and those that do will think you an imbecile for trying to use a fake word to bolster perceptions of your intelligence. Unless we want to start stealing words from Klingon, I suggest that we leave science fiction alone as a source for neologism. There, I used a legitimate big word. Huzzah for me.
 
My second offender is the word "cromulent." Blogger apparently agrees with me, for it has this word underlined in red. Dictionary.com defines cromulent as slang, and identifies its origin as a Simpsons episode, where it is uttered by the schoolteacher Miss Hoover, "in which she defended one made up word by making up another." "Cromulent" means "fine, acceptable," and here I must wonder why either of those words needed a replacement. I suspect the same impulse that prompts someone to use grok also encourages the use of cromulent. Don't give in to that feeling, people. It makes you sound stupid.

"Factoid" appears often, though it is always used incorrectly. It was coined by respected author and renowned asshole Norman Mailer to mean "unreliable information believed to be true because of the way it is repeated by the media." (Dictionary.com once again) Every time I encounter this word, however, it is never in that sense; factoid is used interchangeably with "fact," which is illogical. Is there such a thing as a little fact? Are certain facts larger or smaller than one another? People, the only rule I ask that you abide by is to try not to sound like a pompous ass by using words incorrectly. I have a monopoly on pompousness, and I will jealously defend my privileges from would-be usurpers. 


Let's leave the grammar discussion now and dive into the realm of the proletariat, where electronic entertainment is in high demand. Bulletstorm is a first person shooter set in an apocalyptic resort world full of mutants and giant monsters. You play the part of a gruff ex-military He-man bent on revenge and redemption. As terrible as this sounds, it is all played with tongue firmly in cheek; characters bust out awful Schwarzenegger one-liners, and the protagonist is frequently called out for his stupidity. Gameplay centers on a skillshots system in which the player is rewarded for pulling off difficult shots with various weapons. Bulletstorm is beautiful as well, especially considering that it came out in 2011. Should be a cheap find in the bargain bin. Recommend for those who wish to vicariously slaughter millions of barbarians in gruesome and often humorous ways. Buy it, you degenerates.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Diary of Mitch R. Singer


On the city streets, with no direction home
I encounter a friend while wandering a derelict neighborhood. I ask him where his siblings are, and he says they are out of town. The streets are wide and encompassing, the ancient brick buildings towering over us like monuments to a past age. People come out of the rubble to stare and make gestures that are not friendly. We walk and walk until we find a library. Inside, it is clean and bright, a modern marvel of technology. We travel up the electric stairs and stand at a port hole, looking out at the ruins and their angry inhabitants. My friend tells me that a woman is approaching, so I turn and am amazed at her beauty. She has dark skin and long fingers, and eyes that are oval shaped. She says that we are home now, and that the outside is for stragglers. I look through the port hole once more and see a ragged figure dragging its leg. It stops by a fire hydrant, lifts the leg, and urine flows forth. My friend says that he can live with that. I turn back toward her, and I am all smiles.
...
Lost, in some sort of metaphorical and physical abyss
Down and down I fall, darkness surrounding me, my fingers cutting through nothingness as though it were soft, warm, and melting. I can see the faint illumination of stars below me, though they are not celestial bodies, but wandering lost souls, congregating at the bottom of a bottomless pit. My face is still full of human bones; my jacket is my good lambswool pea coat, the one I stole from a department store. Once upon a time, you dressed so fine, you threw the bums a dime, in your prime, didn't you? These words follow me, as though I were the one that wrote them. None of that was me, and if it was, that person has been replaced by a skeletal husk for years now. You can't please everyone all of the time. I reach the bottom of the abyss, though I don't know it.

 
In the ruins of Las Vegas, a workforce humming around me
The men approach, bound in chains, their faces hung. I jump down from my throne, maniacal glee in my eyes. I'm wearing a jean jacket with flair; my face is hawk-like, my hair cut in a mullet. I gesture towards the operational fighter jets, and the crowd standing at attention, machine guns in their arms. "How shall you oppose me?" I ask them, dancing, my feet deft and swift. "There is nothing you can do." Then the crazy one comes in a military truck, dragging an atom bomb behind him, and I have to run before the finger comes out of the sky, the giant hand of God that would detonate the bomb and leave me nothing but an ugly whisper on an ugly landscape.
...
Vanished, in the words of a song
I met you at an open microphone,
You said my voice had a dead-end tone,
So it does, and so it will ever be,
Can I get a number from you to me?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Paragraph from Apophenia


“The inevitable wake of worlds,” I say, reading the paper before me. “A wind comes and dashes against us, breaking bones and stripping skin from tissue, tearing children from mothers’ arms, and as they stare ahead, their flesh leaving them before their eyes, a whisper shimmers on the horizon, its promise a funeral change, a trading of one generation for another, a woman’s heart for a man’s chest, and we take it and eat it and wipe the dripping juices from our chins, our bellies full, pregnant with another dull repetition of human means.” The berry eater watches me—I see him peering through the window, his lips stained purple—but I do not acknowledge him, I simply place my hands on the desk and look down at the floor a few feet away. Gibbons starts babbling, his words falling over one another like drunk sorority sisters, each syllable too unstable to stand by itself. Chad Arroyo looks at me, his stare not unlike that of the berry eater’s. “Look!” I scream, pointing at the window, and everyone is silent and staring now, the berry eater mooneyed and dazed, his visage crumbling through the thin glass. Gibbons gets out of his chair and approaches, and only when he is a foot away does the voyeur slink off, vanishing but not disappearing from our collective memories, not unlike a bad, disturbing dream.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Consummate Politician Apologizes


Greetings, constituents. My advisers tell me that it is important for me to refer to you as such so as to remind myself that at least some of you will be voting. A whopping fifteen percent, they estimate. Congratulations, people. Get out there and vote.

My reason for addressing you all today is to apologize for pictures I may or may not have texted various women. These pictures may or may not have been of my penis. I'd like to add that I'm disappointed that these women decided to disregard my privacy. A dick pic is a solemn bond between two individuals. It is a private matter, and what is this country coming to if we cannot exchange blurry pictures of our genitals without the fear of incrimination? I wonder what the Founding Fathers would have to say on this matter. I assure you that they would have supported my position unanimously.

Also, I have to wonder if I am truly to blame in this matter. Sure, I instigated the texting. Sure, many of my remarks were of a crude nature. But what sort of signals were these women sending with their boobs and vaginas? If I can't walk by and help but notice your rack, maybe, ladies, you should wear a burqa or something. Men are wired to seek out multiple sexual partners. I have told my long-suffering wife Christina this many times, and though I must ask her once again to excuse my behavior and potential infidelity, I ask her this: Is it really my fault? Maybe if you indulged in a threesome every once in a while, I wouldn't have to resort to texting random women dick pics. Maybe if you catered to my more obscure sexual needs, I wouldn't have to do whatever it is they say I did. Allegedly.

Maybe we should all open our minds just a little bit. Back in the nineteenth century, a man was allowed to have a mistress. The bonds of Christian matrimony didn't hold him back from enjoying himself. It's sad today to think that we have less freedom than our ancestors. Instead of castigating me for my promiscuousness, maybe I should be celebrated as a trailblazer. After all, there were plenty of people who criticized Martin Luther King. Like Jesus said, "Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone." Let's look inward here, people.

Actually, I think it's good that people are holding me to a high moral standard instead of reviewing my politics with a scrutinizing eye. I just cut police funding by twenty-five percent, but everyone's pissed about a couple dick pics. Education funding has plummeted during my tenure, but nobody's focused on that. My advisers tell me that this alleged incident which may or may not have happened multiple times could, if I spin it right, make me more relatable. I'm just an average Joe like yourselves. You send dick pics, I may or may not have sent a few dick pics. At the end of the day we all plop down and have a couple beers and watch the football game.

So remember, everyone, get out there and vote. Vote for the guy just like you, because you would be awesome at politics. Vote for me. Vote for America.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Apophenia, Chapter Three



I haven't posted anything but goofy comedy fiction in a while, so here's the third chapter from my work in progress. Here are links to part one and part two.
...


People really shouldn’t be surprised when they win the lottery. Think of all those tickets out there being purchased in gas stations by truckers, construction workers, stressed office geeks, single mothers, deadbeat dads. The odds are that somebody has to win. Why can’t that somebody be you or me? You lose, you lose, and you lose again, but you still come back to that gas station and pony up a couple bucks for that magical piece of paper that could change your fortunes. I buy a ticket every week on my way to work. The most I’ve ever won was one-hundred dollars, a scratch-off. Usually I go big and buy the pick-six. Once it was the same series of numbers two weeks in a row, which sent the media into a frenzy. The game is played twice a week, the numbers chosen from a set of forty-four. It would be odd if they never repeated, you know? There’s something called the Improbability Principle, which states that given enough chances, an unlikely outcome should be expected, despite the long odds of it occurring each opportunity. The Improbability Principle gives me hope every time I walk into the gas station. Maybe Chad was right. I should’ve been a math major.
            My workplace is located in a skuzzy strip mall about a block south of campus. This area’s businesses primarily consist of liquor stores, gas stations, and pawn shops. The erotic entertainment club across the street, Cans, is flashing its red lights sporadically, sending encoded signals to my brain as I walk past and enter Les Adultes. I’ve never been in there, though the place is a source of endless curiosity for me. What’s the quality of the girls? Are they immigrants bamboozled into indentured servitude? Are they college girls like me, looking to pay tuition? Are they local girls like me, trying to feed their kids? How pathetic are the patrons? How often do they soil their pants during a lap dance? How big is their bouncer? Could he out-lift the Conan twins?
            Stalin’s Mustache is sticking out of my book bag, and my boss, Leslie Svoboda, the possessor of a well-groomed mustached himself, raises a bushy black eyebrow and asks just what the hell am I reading.
            “Homework,” I say, pushing the book back into my bag.
            “What kinda shit you studying in that school?” asks Leslie, who looks remarkably like Joseph Stalin, I suddenly realize, if Stalin had forgotten his totalitarian ambitions and become a peddler of erotica. Leslie likes Hawaiian shirts, though, not communist uniforms. I can’t see him wearing anything else.
            “My professor is a Bolshevik. This is part of history. You’d be surprised how influential Stalin’s mustache truly was.”
            “What kinda job you gonna get with this degree of yours?” asks Leslie.
            “A shitty one,” I answer.
            He chuckles and shakes his head. The store looks cleaned and shiny; all our DVDs are shrink-wrapped and sparkling in the light. The five dollar dildos are piled neatly in their bin, the colors of purple, black, and peach visible for the choosing of the discriminate shopper. It smells nice in here—I detect vanilla, maybe a hint of evergreen. What we lack are customers.
            “Slow day?” I ask.
            “When is it not? I tell ya, the internet is killing this business. Cans ain’t doing that well either. I just had a meeting with my brother, and he says he wants to sell his share. What the hell, I tell him. He runs the place, not me. I don’t know how to run a strip club.”
            “Run a college kid special. Eighteen through twenty-one gets in free.”
            “Just get back there on the phone, Leona. Keep the door shut, though. I don’t want to hear what you tell those perverts.”
            I go into the back room and plop down on the leather couch and get to work. My hours are advertized on local channels. You know the ads with the sexy girl twisting the phone cord around her finger while wallowing on what looks like a seedy motel room bed? If you call that number between eight and midnight on select days, you’ll get me. I don’t look like her, though. Unlike most operators, I take my calls at Cans. My mother has no idea where I work, and I would like for it to remain that way.
            The first caller’s name is Steve. I tell him mine is Jasmine, my alias. Jasmine is up for anything. After processing his credit card number, I ask him what he’s into.
            “Feet,” he says, his voice a hoarse whisper.
            “I don’t know if I can do feet,” I tell him.
            “How big are your tits?” he inquires.
            “Big enough,” I reply.
            “That’s hot,” he says. His voice sounds like it’s dripping with saliva. There’s a repetitive noise in the background, the humming drone of a machine. I imagine a gremlin-like creature masturbating in a sweltering engine room full of pipes and steam.
            “I’m touching them right now,” I say, while thumbing through Stalin’s Mustache. An idea strikes me, and I decide to go with it.
            “You’re a ridiculously fat swine,” I tell Steve. “You’re a hairy twat.”
            “Are you touching your hairy twat?” asks Steve. There’s a hint of desperation in his voice that suggests this will not be a long phone call.
            “I was actually reading a poem written by one of my professors,” I answer. “Though yes, you are right, I am frantically pleasuring myself as we speak.”
            “Do you fuck your professor?” asks Steve.
            “That might get me kicked out of college,” I reply.
            “What about butt stuff? You like that?”
            “I am plunging my index finger deep into my anus. It is not fun, Steve, but I keep doing it anyway. I’m a dirty girl.”
            “Oh yeah,” says Steve. “You definitely are.”
            “Our love is bristly and porcine, you smelly, flee-bitten, poopy-eared Commie.”
            “What?” says Steve.
            “Did I say something wrong?” I ask.
            “I’m starting to lose it,” says Steve, presumably referring to his erection and not his sanity.
            “I’m sucking my own toes right now. I’m quite flexible. Limber. I can bend like a reed.”
            “What do your feet taste like?”
            “Sweat and cheese,” I say.
            “Christ,” says Steve.
            “Is that doing it for you?”
            “Come on now, don’t stop.”
            “I wish you were here right now to tickle my feet with a feather. You’d strap me down, and I’d scream, but you’d do it anyway. You’d keep doing it over and over again. I’d be helpless. Tied and bound. You could do anything to me. Anything you can imagine.”
            “Then I’d come on your face,” says Steve.
            “But you’d be a gentleman afterwards and hand me a towel,” I suggest.
            “No I wouldn’t,” says Steve.
            “So you wouldn’t. What could I do? I’d just have to lie there with your wet, hot load all over my face.”
            “Damn,” says Steve. He lets loose a triumphant sigh. “I just filled up a whole fucking sock.”
            “You’re a big man,” I tell him before hanging up, the allotted time having been exhausted. There are different ways of looking at this profession, and I’ve always viewed myself as a great humanitarian, not for the abuse I willingly suffer, but for the aid and relief I give my fellow man. Every caller presents a problem, and together we work toward the same conclusion. The money I make is a pittance that goes to my school books and tuition. It’s the satisfaction of helping people that really gets me going.
            The phone rings again, and I pick up.
            “Hello, Jasmine,” says a liquid smooth voice.
            “What’s your pleasure?” I ask.
            “What’s your real name?” he asks.
            “Roberto,” I reply. “Roberto Gonzalez. I have a fat, sticky mustache and a pot belly, and my favorite food is Old Milwaukee’s Best.”
            “You’re a school girl, aren’t you? You attend Hoover College.”
            “They don’t pay me enough to go to college.”
            “I’d pay you plenty to meet in person.”
            “Like, one-hundred thousand dollars, or like fifty bucks?”
            “I bet you’re from the neighborhood. You probably live in a dilapidated house, or maybe a trailer.”
            “What are you getting at?” I ask.
            “I see patterns wherever I go. It’s very human of me, you know? If I draw a circle and place two Xs equal distance from each other in the middle, and then put a line below, I’d see a face. You’d see a face. The chattel walking the streets would see a face. Isn’t that remarkable?”
            “This is the part where you tell me your credit card information,” I reply. If I was going to listen to weirdness, I was going to be paid for it.
             “But we’re just getting to know one another,” he says. “I bet your name starts with an L. Is it Lisa? Laura? Leo…”
            I hang up the phone before he can finish.
            I go outside for a bit and have a smoke. I smoke Morleys, just like that guy on the X-Files. A cigarette is a relaxing thing, an oral fixation, as Freud would say. It’s a habit I picked up from all the wonderful influences that enveloped me as a child. Mother had a boyfriend that used to breathe smoke into my face. He had a bulbous nose riddled with purple veins, and he always smelled like gasoline. That was back when mother was actually skinny, when her boyfriends were garden variety trailer trash instead of weirdos in love with her fatness. Dale, this one pasty freak who still comes around, spends all of his time feeding her like she is a pet hippopotamus. I wish I made enough money to move out.
            A girl comes out of Cans and starts walking across the street toward me. She’s wearing a tight shirt with a heart emblazoned across her large chest, as well as leather pants and stripper heels. The wind sends her hair flying out behind her, and her arms are crossed, her lips pursed and head down, heels clacking loudly on the empty street. A piece of garbage shoots past her, carried by the breeze, and as she crosses the barren concrete I smell a hint of gasoline and fire, as though somewhere in the near distance a fuel station has exploded.
            “Hey,” she says to me. She’s got a pretty face covered by too much eye-shadow and blush, but hey, what do I know, I’m no makeup expert.
            “Hey,” I say back.
            “Could I have a cigarette?” she asks. I hand her a cigarette. Her fingers are long and end in purple fake nails, so she takes the cigarette delicately, pinching it between fingers and holding it up to her plump lips.
            “God, it’s cold out here, isn’t it?” she says.
            “Yeah. It’s nice to get away from the recycled air, though, especially if you love the smell of diesel.”
            “Candy,” she says, extending her free hand.
            “Leona,” I reply, giving her my own.
            “I work at Cans if you couldn’t guess.”
            “I’m a phone sex operator at Les Adultes.”
            “Oh how is that?”
            “It’s not bad,” I say. “Though sometimes I look across the street and wonder how it is there.”
            “Do you want to dance?” she asks.
            “Hah, no, I don’t think I’d be too good at it,” I reply. “Are the men perfect gentlemen?”
            “Always,” says Candy, revealing perfect pearly white teeth.   
            “The things we do for money. Why stripping instead of waiting tables?”
            “I like being on the stage. It pays better than being a waitress. You don’t have to talk to people, really, or put up with their shit. It’s nice to be wanted. Does that sound weird?”
            “No,” I answer. “Hell, I like talking to weirdos most of the time. It’s hilarious what gets these guys off. There’s dark humor in every orgasm. I think of myself as a comedienne, a jokester, a prankster. But really, I’m helping people. Do you ever feel that?”
            “Yeah,” says Candy.
            “We’re in the orgasm business,” I say.
            “I guess we are,” she replies. “Thanks for the cigarette.”
            I watch her walk back across the street, wondering if I made a new friend.



Hanging with the Goon

Deres my boss, ol' Sammy, drinkin' 'em some shine on da farm.

Mornin' to ya'll on dis brightest of days. Its been a rough week, considerin' how much work I's been doings on da farm, mowin' and pickin' da apples and da peaches in da hot summer sun wit nothin' but my overalls to keep all da biting flies off of my skin (boy do 'em bit dis year). Hernando was tellin' me dat I look like dat Charlie Brown character, da one dat always has a cloud of buggies buzzin' around 'em cuz he smells and is filthy. Good ol' Hernando runs da orchard an does most of da real hard stuff, since he's a master mechanic--Sam lets em spray da orchard, which is a task I'm not considered responsible nough to do, or so Sammy says. I lika jeers and jostle wit 'em, an he always says stuff in Mexican dat I can't understand, witch bothers Sam, cuz he's don't like Mexican dat much, being old an set in his ways. Sam's always cussin' bout us beings lazy, witch is funny, cuz I see Sam slip aways a lot a times to take a couple swigs from da moonshine glass, an now whose being lazy, Mr. Boss Man? Is it a crime to have a cigarette while yous pickin' a bushel or two? Is it a crime to take a huff of gas before puttin' it in the weedeater? Hell, I don't know, dats why I'm askings.
Slack and mes were pickin' apples da udder day an we's seen a light movin' up in da sky going real fast like it was da moon on speed or cocaine. Slacks says he's been watchin' da Science channel an dey say stuff like dat is UFOs from another planet. He says some guy wit a spray tan an hair shootin' out in all directions like Frankenstein's bride tell 'em dat all da earth's greatest monuments was created buy ancient aliens miliions of years ago when we was still bangin' sticks together an throwin' our poo at each udder. I tell 'em "Now come on, Slack, if deres aliens, how come no one's ever gotten a picture of em?" He says dats cuz UFOs emmit an lectric field dat disables lectronics, witch is very convienent, if yous asks me. Then I told em I heard Sammy say dat Hernando is an alien. Slack's eyes get all big an he says "really?" and I tell em "yeah." So den we's decided to find out if Hernando is a real alien.
Hopefully he's not a chupracobra, seen here.

So we left da orchard an snuck up to da barn where Hernando was workin' on da sprayer. He got his tools all spread out, an he was hummin something in Mexican an takin' sips from a bottle filled wit yella liquid. "Wats he drinkin?" asks Slack, an I try to see wat it says on da bottle but my eyes ain't so good. "I think its beer," I tell em, witch causes Slack to despair, cuz he's really wanting Hernando to be an alien for some reason, probably so dat all dat stupid shit he watches on TV is confirmed. We keep watchin' Hernando an he never does anything outta da ordinary, an ventelly Sam comes up be hinds us an kicks us in da ass an tells us ta get back ta work. As we's was goin' away, though, I see a hoverin' light over da barn, an a tractor beams shining down outta it, but when I scream an point at it it dissappears. So maybe deres truth to da rumors, an Hernando is an alien. Wat you think, peoples?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Hillsdale Paranormal Society's Guide to Demonic Curses, Part One

Yo, it ain't right to do that do a cat.

Bros and broettes, today we're gonna discuss a contentious subject. It is not the policy of the Hillsdale Paranormal Society to deal in black magic--though I assure ya'll that my homie Trent is more than capable of casting a spell or two, in real life or in your favorite RPG--but it's come to my attention that more and more people are suffering from the effects of punk-ass bitches who think it's funny to plague somebody's house with locusts or a rape demon (yes, they are real; Art was violated by one in college). So this guide is gonna tell ya'll how to deal with that shit, though don't be afraid to pick up the phone and give us a call. We charge one-hundred bucks an hour, with a money back guarantee, so don't be a jabroni and bite off more than you can chew, so to speak.

First off, figure out what sort of beastie ails you. This is where having a demonologist like myself available comes in handy. Is there some sort of invisible monster outside you window, hanging out in the trees? That's easy, it's the Predator (motherfucker is real, though he don't have a pussy crabface in real life). Are you hearing growls and suffering from mysterious scratches? Could be a rape demon (keep your butthole tight). Here's a quick list of some common demons and how to ID them. P.S. Print this shit out and memorize it.

1. Beelzebub--AKA "Lord of the Flies." If there's a real bad fly problem in your house, and you've taken out the garbage, it might be this dude. Usually you'll smell farts coming from weird places, like a closet or the oven. Watch out for crawling meat--this guy must've seen Poltergeist because he loves to play this trick on unsuspecting bros. Hates the Funky Bunch, so watch what music you play around him, unless you want to smell like farts.
 
2. Old Deuteronomy--AKA "Fat Pussy." Okay, so I guess it's best to disclose that I've named a bunch of these demons after characters in Cats, namely because it's my favorite movie and demons hate it. This shithead will make you bloated by amassing the negative humors in your body. If you've been constipated for a month and you're chugging down Activia like it's Natty Light, then I bet this dude's crawled up your asshole.
 

3. Rum Tum Tugger--AKA "Rape Demon." Okay, so these are bad. They apparently have a foot fetish, so if something invisible keeps touching your toes and getting them sticky with ghost jizz (ectoplasm), then this jabroni is haunting your house. Dude likes to put confusing sexual imagery in your brain while you sleep. The smell of Axe Body Spray is omnipresent, so if you haven't put any on and your bros aren't packing, invest in a buttplug until you can get some help.

4. Mr. Mistoffelees--AKA "Mephistopheles." This motha is both a Cats character and a real demon! Ain't no coincidences, bros and broettes. This guy usually appears as a pimp who tries to get you to sell your soul and all of your cash for a night with one of his overweight hoes. Not worth it, in my opinion.

5. Rumpus Cat--AKA "The Krumpus." Only appears at Christmas, usually as a drunken mall Santa. Will try to touch your wiener, will not respond to repeated shocks from a taser. Call us ASAP.

6. Jeanene--AKA "My Ex." This chick will act like your girl, but then cheat on you with a house of frat boys while stealing your credit cards and going on a shopping spree. Don't call her back. She ain't worth it.

Okay, so that's a much abbreviated list. There are literally hundreds of demons out there, but these six rear their ugly heads the most often. I'll be back with the rest of the guide as soon as I can, so keep hitting that refresh button, bros. I gotta get that ad money.